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Guns at Capitol protest sent wrong message

The Bill of Rights is a sacred trust that all of us inherited from our brave forefathers.

Those rights were paid for by blood, sweat, and tears, and anything that threatens them, or erodes their power, needs to addressed and corrected swiftly.

That is why we vehemently object to the presence of gun-toting citizens last week inside the state Capitol — especially the photographs of protestors yelling in front of a line of Michigan State Police officers, who were in masks, calmly standing there, preventing the protesters from entering the state House chambers.

We always have stood in support of the First and Second amendments. That will not change. Nor does it here.

At the same time, however, protestors upset over Gov. Gretchen Whitmerís stay-at-home order meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus did not do themselves any favors when armed citizens joined them and made a protest over individual rights look like it was instead a rally at a militia barbecue.

There is a way to make a point. And then there is a way to quickly lose that advantage.

By having armed citizens so conspicuously on display, it diverted attention from the real purpose of the rally and instead raised a secondary issue that soon overshadowed the proceeding.

By now, all anyone’s minds think about when you mention Lansing protest is the armed citizens and the image it left of Michigan to the rest of the world.

Did we really need gun-toting protestors at the rally? We don’t think so.

The guns created a wrong message and organizers should have discouraged residents from bringing them with them.

And, for those who support the Second Amendment, those photographs did everyone much more harm than good.

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